This essay proposes the idea of transversal geophilosophy as ultima philosophia to save the earth. Geophilosophy is that philosophical discipline which embraces all matters of the earth as a whole. Since it requires global efforts on all fronts, it is necessarily cross-cultural, cross-speciesistic, and cross-disciplinary, that is, geophilosophy is transversal. It attends especially to the importance of Sinism, which incorporates Confucianism, Daoism, and Chan/Zenb Buddhism, in constructing an ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Sinism is a species of relational ontology or philosophy of Interbeing (...) which defines reality as social process, that is, in the cosmos everything is connected to everything else or nothing exists in isolation, that coincides with the “first law” of ecology. Not only is the aesthetic a discourse of the body, but also the body is our anchorage in the world. In Sinism, the aesthetic and the ethical come together in the embodied concept of harmony, which is the master keyboard, as it were, they are being played together: what is harmonious is simultaneously beautiful and ethical, which culminates in the cosmopolitan virtue of ren. Today we must walk tomorrow as well as yesterday: we steop backward in order to step forward. The Way (Dao) of Ecopiety is to be had in part by recycling the ancient wisdom of Sinism instead of abandoning it as old and foreign. (shrink)
This essay attempts to contextualize the importance of Wang Yangming’s 王陽明 philosophy in terms of world philosophy in the manner of Goethe’s innovative plan for “world literature” (Weltliteratur). China has the long history of philosophizing rather than non-philosophy contrary to the glaring and inexcusable misunderstanding of Hegel the Eurocentric universalist or monist. In today’s globalizing world of multicultural pluralism, ethnocentric universalism has become outdated and outmoded. Transversality, which is at once intercultural, interspecific, interdisciplinary, and intersensorial, is a far more befitting (...) response than universality. In this context, what is focused and emphasized in Wang’s world philosophy is mainly fourfold. First, there is the unity or circularity of knowledge and action, that is, knowledge is the beginning of action, and action is the consummation of knowledge. Second, sincerity is the moral soul of Sinism as it is the enabling act of making perform all other virtues, including ren 仁. Third, in Sinism, including Wang’s philosophy, there is no Cartesian dualism in that the mind and the body are inseparable soulmates. Fourth, if ethics is prima philosophia, then geophilosophy is ultima philosophia to sustain and perpetuate all life-forms on earth (geo). (shrink)
This paper advances the concept of transversality by drawing philosophical insights from Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Calvin O. Schrag, and the Martinicuan francophone Edouard Glissant. By so doing, it attempts to deconstruct the notion of universality in modern Western philosophy. It begins with a critique of the notion of Eurocentric universality which is founded on the fallacious premise that what is particular in the West is made universal, whereas whereas what is particular in the non-West remains particular forever. Eurocentric Universality has no (...) place in the globalization of the multicultural world. It simply ignores the reality of interlacing of multiple life-worlds. The concept of transversality, whose icon is the Maitreyan Middle Way, is proposed to replace universality. It not only reduced ethnocentric particularism but also fosters a hybridity that in fact dissolves the binary opposition between particularism and universalism. In short, transversality is conceived of as a radically new paradigm in philosophical conceptualization or world philosophy. (shrink)
This paper examines the other side of Enlightenment which privileges the authority and autonomy of reason for human progress and emancipation. It contends that Enlightenment marginalizes and denigrates the categories of (1) body, (2) woman, (3) nature, and (4) non-West which happen to be four central landmarks of postmodern thought.
The aim of this essay is to bring to light what I take to be the two most seminal philosophical insights of John Macmurray in the face of the postmodern condition which establishes the foundation and platform of a new philosophy, a new ethics, and a new politics.
The recent controversy over whether Marxism is an ecologically viable theory or can justify astate of harmony between man and nature has a serious flaw because none of the participants in the discussion seems to think that technology is intrinsic to the reconciliation of man with nature. While it is correct that the writings of the early Marx offer some basis for the reconciliation, the later Marx was preoccupiedwith the question of nature’s instrumentality or the human significance of nature, and (...) he saw technology as the human mode of dealing with nature. Marx and Marxists have contributed to making us aware of man’s exploitation of and alienation from other men, but not man’s exploitation of and alienation from nature. To eradicate the second requires a radical deconstruction of modern technomorphic culture and its metaphysical foundations. (shrink)
The voice of Orpheus symbolizes the everlasting importance of music and poetry in the animus of man. According to the ancient legend, Orpheus by his very gift of music tills the radical sense of enjoyment in us all and enables entire nature to dance in delight. Music resonates the most primordial and invariant mood of man in his harmony with the universe (uni-verse) from time immemorial. On the basis of the image of “roundness” derived from the auditory model of space, (...) an “ecotopia” or a new orientation of ecological ethics is projected. By affirming man as the responsible caretaker of the Earth, it rejects both speciesism and individualism -the antitheses of social principle. (shrink)
When it reaches its absolute limit, namely, when it comes to the question of good and evil, politics must seek ethics for help, for I do not wish to consider political power as an ultimate end in itself though it is an intermediary end. There is not only the reality of power but also an ethic of power as well. For “the concept of the ‘good life’ mutually implicates politics and ethics.” As a relationship between man and man, the exercise (...) of power is not ethically neutral but is moral; and ethical questions arise only when man is not alone, that is, he exists in relation to others. Because the possibility of evil is inherent in every move of power, the problem of power is an ethical problem: “the problematic of evil is intertwined with the problematic of power.”The idea of human dignity is what underlies an existentialist ethics. Gabriel Marcel has this in mind when he speaks of “the existential background of human dignity.” A preponderance of the existentialist critique of the dehumanizing, alienating and depersonalizing tendency of modern man and society accentuates this singular, self-same idea of human dignity. Human dignity is not just an idea of equality, political or otherwise. It infuses all such principles of politics as freedom, justice, equality and responsibility one wishes to defend, and it underlies such problems of politics as war and peace, racism, human rights and colonialism. All these principles and problems of politics make direct or indirect, and explicit or implicit reference to human dignity.By human dignity is meant an affirmation of the moral respect for the absolute worthiness of each and every individual as a human person. To appeal to and call upon human dignity is to affirm the very humanity of man, both the quality of being truly human and a collectivity of men. The idea of human dignity is never a testimonial to atomic individualism, the allegation of which is often made by many critics of existentialism and should properly be reserved for the “possessive individualism” of the Hobbesian and Lockeian political tradition. Rather, it is an appeal to solidify and strengthen the sense of a human community. For to be authentically human (to be “personal”) means to be social or intersubjective. The ethical accent on human dignity is not a move away from politics for the sake of the romanticism of political defeat much less of “an escape for the bewildered” and of harboring the idea of the absurd. But rather it is to bring politics close to ethics or to close the gap between politics and ethics, a two-faced Janus. I wish to defend the ethical triumph of political man, the consummation of politics.By widening the gap between ethics and politics in the name of the logic of science and value neutrality, the political behavioralist as a theorist (not as an individual actor) is totally oblivious to the ethical foundation of politics. It should be said that one cannot make a commitment noncommittally, the behavioralist's commitment to value neutrality notwith-standing.The cardinal malaise of the methodological credo of value neutrality is the indifference to or insensibility of political behavioralism to the living dialectic of truth and action when its declared aim is merely to acquire knowledge whose subject matter is the anonymous object inhumanly called “man.” It is the conspiracy of political epistemology narrowly conceived rather than political silence or depoliticization which is on trial in a phenomenological critique of political behavioralism. To summon the credo of relevance to remove the barriers of political silence or to solicit the politicization of the political science profession alone is, though a leap forward, far short of resolving the predicament endemic to political behavioralism as an adequate theory of politics. (shrink)